Summary: What do we have to do to be known as a caring church? What all is involved?
C. A. R. E.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:25-27 (MKJV) That there not be division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is glorified, all the members rejoice with it. And you are the body of Christ, and members in part.
INTRODUCTION: A preacher was running late when he pulled into a full-service gas station for fuel. A little guy came out from office. He had a toboggan pulled down low, his face was covered with acne, his hair was greasy, and his pants were so large he had to keep pulling them up. The guy spoke poorly and slowly. It seemed to take forever for him to pump the gas. When the preacher gave him his credit card, it took several minutes before he came back to say they didn’t accept that card. The preacher then gave him another card only to learn after several more minutes that it didn’t work. Finally in desperation, he asked, "Do you still take cash?" The little fellow then took several more minutes to make change and return it. The preacher was so furious when he left that he backed up and spun his tires as he left the station! A few blocks away, the Holy Spirit began to convict him about his impatience and rudeness to the attendant. He drove back up and the little guy was too scared to come out of the office! Finally, the preacher said to him, "I’m really sorry for the way I treated you." The man pushed back his toboggan and said, "That’s okay mister. Everybody treats me that way." (Copied from Grace Baptist Temple’s website at www.brandonweb.com/gbt/sermonpages/luke43.htm) We live in a cold and impersonal world in which many can echo that statement, “Everybody treats me that way.” What is sad is that that sentiment is all too often echoed in the church, which ought to be a haven from the coldness of society. We as a church are called to be different as a result of our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we are to fulfill the command of Christ we must care. We must care about both fellow believers in the church as well as those who have never come to a saving knowledge of Christ. What do we have to do to be known as a caring church? What is involved?
I. (C). A. R. E.
A. We must demonstrate genuine CONCERN
1. concern - to feel a marked interest about
2. 1 Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism (or divisions) in the body; but that the members should have the same care (concern) one for another.
3. Mamie made frequent trips to the branch post office. One day she confronted a long line of people who were waiting for service from the postal clerks. Mamie only needed stamps, so a helpful observer asked, "Why don’t you use the stamp machine? You can get all the stamps you need and you won’t have to stand in line." Mamie said, "I know, but the machine can’t ask me about my arthritis." People still need human contact. Source unknown
B. We must exhibit COMPASSION
1. Compassion is defined as a sympathetic consciousness of others distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
2. A Greek verb used in the Bible to refer to God’s compassion is splanchnizomai. The nominal form of this word originally referred to the inner parts of a man, the heart, liver, and so on. It became common to use this word in reference to the lower parts of the abdomen, the intestines, and especially the womb. The word brings to mind the physical feeling associated with compassion. Literally it is identifying with another’s distress that one feels it in his guts.
3. Jude 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
4. 1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
C. We must possess the CONVICTION that we are dealing with eternal issues
1. Jude 1:22-23 "And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."
2. We are dealing with the souls of men, women, boys, and girls. Eternal destinies are at stake.
3. Caring compassion seeks to meet physical and emotional needs, but no genuine Christ-like compassion can be claimed until that compassion also notes and seeks solutions for the spiritual needs of lost souls. The greatest need of the majority of people in our world is salvation.
II. C. (A). R. E
A. We must be ATTENTIVE
1. People want to know that they are somebody and that someone will pay time and attention to them.